The Province of Corrientes announced the commissioning of the equipment to identify circulating strains of Covid-19, from the Genomic Medicine laboratory of the Faculty of Medicine of the National University of the Northeast.
The ministers of Public Health, Ricardo Cardozo and of Science and Technology, Orlando Macció, accompanied by the Dean of the UNNE School of Medicine, Professor Omar Larroza, the director of Epidemiology of the Province, Angelina Bobadilla, the director of the Laboratory of Medicine Genomics, Carla Zimmermann, and other authorities, led in the green room of the government house, the act of putting into operation the Sequencing Team of the Genomic Medicine Laboratory, which will allow the identification of the circulating strains in the province, in the Covid-19 healthcare management context.
These actions take place within the framework of the Agreement signed in a timely manner between the Government of the Province of Corrientes and the UNNE School of Medicine to carry out joint tasks in the fight against Coronavirus, which highlights the strengthening and mutual collaboration tending to control and epidemiological surveillance.
The Genomic Medicine Laboratory was recognized for its work in contributing to Covid-19 research. It was created in 2015 and had an essential participation in the province for the work to determine the virus by PCR.
In this Laboratory, techniques for diagnosis and research in the oncological genetics and forensic genetics area are optimized and implemented, improving the training of human resources and promoting technological innovation in the region.
The area of molecular virology for the detection of SARS-CoV-2 viruses has also been implemented.
The Laboratory works in coordination with health institutions and professionals throughout the region, in order to facilitate, improve and speed up the clinical diagnosis of different diseases.
Precisely, the director of the Laboratory Carla Zimmermann, explained which are the variants of interest and mutations that the Sars-Cov2 virus has for public health. “When taking samples from the patient, the genetic pattern of the virus is searched for” and “with the nasal swab the genomic portion is located and shows the viral reverse transmission“, he pointed.
In the case of PCRs, he specified that “By means of the real-time thermal cycler equipment we can detect the amplification of the virus and in the laboratory we sequence the virus portion by portion where we detect each of the letters and sequences of the virus and we can visualize the variations with respect to the consensus sequences together to the boss”.
“This is how we detect that it is what varied the structures of the variants are produced in order to be able to develop diagnostic methodologies and design vaccination strategies and epidemiological surveillance of the region”He concluded by referring to the results of the tests carried out.
The head of the health portfolio, Ricardo Cardozo, highlighted the acquisition of the brand new sequencing equipment for the identification of circulating strains, “a very important tool”, In this context of a pandemic
Likewise, he realized that the same equipment was highly anticipated and longed for as – at the time – the PCR apparatus for the detection of active cases. “With this team we will have the results very soon”, said the official.
In another order of issues, the Minister of Public Health detailed, based on the vaccination campaign against Covid-19, that the province has inoculated 96% of first doses and 64% of second doses in older ones; in addition to 34% of first doses in adolescents; remembering that children between the ages of 3 and 11 are being vaccinated.
The Minister of Science and Technology, Orlando Macció, highlighted the speed with which results will be obtained from now on from the use of modern equipment. “Until yesterday, we had to send samples to Buenos Aires and wait 25 to 30 days, now we will have responses in less than 48 hours, which represents a qualitative leap for epidemiological monitoring and thus prevent the spread of the virus”, he detailed.
Meanwhile, he praised the management of Governor Gustavo Valdés and the Ministry of Health in addressing the pandemic, having as an emblem the “Escuela Hogar” Campaign Hospital, whose professionals were the “true heroes in the fight for health in Corrientes ”.
Macció then affirmed that although the current numbers of infections allow us to be optimistic, he urged the population not to relax and maintain sanitary measures as always in the face of the threat of the Coronavirus, such as the use of the chinstrap, social distancing and permanent washing of hands. “The second wave has passed but the third may come, so let’s keep taking care of ourselves”, Macció closed.
Bobadilla and the epidemiological situation
For her part, the director of Epidemiology, Angelina Bobadilla initially gave an account of the current map of the province, as of today, regarding active cases, those recovered and deaths accumulated by Covid-19.
“We are practically reaching the pre-pandemic period in which we had isolated cases”, compared Bobadilla regarding the current situation with the first steps of the Coronavirus in Corrientes.
In this regard, the professional considered that “The second wave is resolved and we are working so that a new wave does not intensify”.
Likewise, the official explained that in the second wave of the pandemic, the predominance of active cases was registered mainly in the age group from 20 to 50 years old.